2019 Volume 73 Pages 3-14
While two classes of non-heme iron enzymes use ferric centers to activate singlet organic substrates for the spin forbidden reaction with 3O2, most classes use high spin ferrous sites to activate dioxygen. These FeII active sites do not exhibit intense absorption bands and have integer spin ground states thus are mostly EPR inactive. We have developed new spectroscopic methodologies that provide geometric and electronic structural insight into the ferrous centers and their interactions with cosubstrates for dioxygen activation and into the nature of the intermediates generated in these reactions. First, we present our variable-temperature variable-field magnetic circular dichroism (VTVH MCD) methodology to experimentally define the geometric and electronic structure of the high spin ferrous active site. Then, we focus on using Nuclear Resonance Vibrational Spectroscopy (NRVS, performed at SPring-8) to define geometric structure and VTVH MCD to define the electronic structure of the FeIII-OOH and FeIV=O intermediates generated in O2 activation and the spin state dependence of their frontier molecular orbitals (FMOs) in controlling reactivity. Experimentally validated reaction coordinates are derived for the anticancer drug bleomycin in its cleavage of DNA and for an α-ketoglutarate dependent dioxygenase in its selective halogenation over the thermodynamically favored hydroxylation of substrate.